If you are fortunate enough to live in a period property, the chances are that you can’t get enough of your cornice, your original floorboards and your high ceilings. The single glazing, the drafty spaces and the lack of insulation are facets of period property living that you could do without. However, you have chosen to live in a home with a wealth of social history. When it comes to redecorating your pad, you don’t want to rip out any of the period features. If anything, you want to exploit them even more and keep your decor traditional rather than sleek, modern and minimalist. Take a look at this essential guide to period home decor to inspire your renovation plans.
When you consider the flooring of your dwelling, don’t whip down some high street bought generic laminate, and definitely avoid carpets. Perhaps think about utilising your original floorboards if you can. Sand them down, treat them for woodworm if needed and varnish them. In the Victorian era, houses were built with more integrity, so the chances are that your oak floorboards will last another hundred years if you look after them. If your home is a little younger then consider investing in solid wood flooring. This may cost a little more than laminate and other flooring types but it can look very similar to original floorboards and help to promote the whole old period style to your home. It’s also very sturdy and hardwearing enough to be placed in almost any room and with the correct care, it will last many years. You could then consider breaking up the space with a couple of traditional rugs. These will feel pleasant underfoot and they will also add a touch of elegance to your period home. In your kitchen you may want traditional red Minton tiles or Victorian slate. Always consider the period your home was built and choose flooring to match.
Don’t ever rip out a cast iron Victorian fireplace. This would be a crime against all things period. Instead, think about refurbishing it if it has seen better days. Get a restorer and a chimney sweep in to get it functional. Consider heading to reclamation yards to pick up some stunning tiles that can surround your cast iron fireplace and add touches of colour and personality. These havens of original features are perfect spaces to explore coving, cornicing, radiators, sinks and garden features. Barter and you could find yourself an original feature bargain for your pad.
If the facade of your home has seen better days, consider how you can renovate without losing the charm of your Victorian or Georgian features. Some rooftops aren’t the usual standard slate or tile. Thatch cottages need maintenance and need replacing every twenty years or so. If your home is rendered or has timber framing, you must consider the upkeep of this. You don’t want to pebble dash over the front or lose any of the period charm of the facade.
Ensure that your gardens are as exquisite as they were when first planted. Country cottage gardens go alongside those English chocolate box homes. Make sure that you plant colourful foliage and enjoy whipping up a few hanging baskets by your front door.
Forget about creating a blank box-like canvas and stick to the period decor that your home is so famous for. Stay traditional, and add a touch of your personality, to create a truly unique living space.